Parenting without a Partner
Many women are making the decision to have children without a partner. According to statistics, 40 percent of babies are born to single moms, with more than three quarters of these mothers over the age of 20.
Dr. Phil turns to Jon. "You think it's arrogant to think you don't need a dad," he says.
"It's selfish," Jon says. "If you think your kid doesn't need a father or doesn't need a mother, I think you're insane."
"I raised my kids mostly as a single mom. I was married; we got divorced," Lisa adds. "My kids did very well. I think the most important things for kids is to be in a home where there's love and where there's peace."
"Kids have expressed to me that they would rather be from a broken home than to live in a broken home," Dr. Phil says. "If you're in that war zone, it can be terrible, but then if you're a single parent, it's hard to be all things to the child."[AD]
Dr. Phil cites statistics from Ann Coulter's controversial book, Guilty. "She says 72 percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, delinquents and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers," he reads.
"I think that's true, though I'll tell you why. Most single moms don't get child support," Lisa chimes in. "That's the responsibility of the single dads who are keeping the kids in poverty."
"You know who was raised by a single mother? A guy named Barack Obama. He's doing OK," Teresa adds.
Mark shares his thoughts. "I have to tell you that a mother and father in the home is ideal, quite frankly, and it's old fashioned. That's not to say that a single mom or a single dad can't raise a beautiful child."
"I bring these stats up because they are so widely quoted, and they are highly, highly misleading," Dr. Phil explains.
"Do these stats exist? Maybe, maybe not, but there is not a cause and effect," Dr. Phil points out.
[AD]"I think that most people agree that just because it's not a best-case scenario, does not make it a worst-case scenario," Ron says, referring to single parenthood.
Dr. Phil turns to Teresa. "You say you wouldn't try to think of doing this on your own," he says.
"No. Are you kidding?" she replies. She turns to Cindy. "I really have a lot of respect for you doing it alone. I have a 4-month-old, and between the two of us, it's difficult."
"I have seen some single moms who have raised incredible sons, and it's not easy," Mark says. "We are two parents, and it's hard, hard, hard."
"A single mom and a single working mom, they are on my short list of heroes in America," Dr. Phil says.